Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex becomes Royal Patron

The Countess of Wessex discusses the taboos and stigma surrounding women’s health issues in conversation celebrating appointment

by Wellbeing of Women | 21st May 2021

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Wellbeing of Women is delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex as our Royal Patron today.

From Friday 21st May, the Countess will amplify the charity’s life-saving research into all areas of women’s reproductive health across a woman’s life course, from menstrual health to menopause.

To commence her patronage, the Countess had a conversation with our Chair, Professor Dame Lesley Regan DBE, raising that “hidden” women’s health issues such as period problems and the menopause must be brought "out into the open” and talking about them normalised.

Her Royal Highness also spoke to two researchers whose work is funded by the charity, Dr Varsha Jain and Dr Shuby Puthussery, and Sarah Jane Cale, who founded a menopause support group after struggling with symptoms herself.

Her Royal Highness went on to say that "it’s about time we really had a grown-up conversation” about women’s health and “don't allow it to be in the in the shadows anymore”.

The Countess said: “I’m delighted to take on this role. I have a vested interest in it. Not a woman on the planet can say they haven’t had to access support.

"We’ve all been there, and it’s about time we really had a grown-up conversation about it.”

Her Royal Highness also spoke to two Wellbeing of Women researchers, Dr Varsha Jain and Dr Shuby Puthussery, and Sarah Jane Cale, a menopause activist who founded a support group after struggling with symptoms herself.

Dr Jain, who is investigating abnormal uterine bleeding (when a women’s period changes such as becoming heavier) spoke about what first made her interested in the topic:

Dr Jain explained: “We've got to normalise that conversation about menstrual health. And that's not necessarily just with female relations or female friends, I think it's bringing men into that conversation as well.”

Professor Dame Lesley Regan DBE, Chair of Wellbeing of Women, said: “We are so thrilled that the Countess of Wessex has joined the charity.

“Together we can raise awareness of women's health issues, help break down some of the taboos surrounding them and make the world a better place for everyone.

“When we get it right for women, everybody benefits.”

Find out more about Dr Jain’s project investigating heavy, irregular periods, Dr Puthussery’s project looking to improve access to antenatal care and Sarah Jane Cale’s menopause journey and support group here.